Hot off the heels of the release of their second album, Entertainment, we were lucky enough to chat with lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Awsten Knight. We chatted about the album, the recording process and touring. Keep reading to find out just what Awsten had to say! You can also check out our review of Entertainment HERE!
We asked Awsten about the Waterparks writing process, curious to know if he, guitarist Geoff Wigington, and drummer Otto Wood all wrote together. “I find it easier to get into that weird place in my head when nobody’s talking to me, you know? Like I find when I’m around people, it’s harder for me to get to that place.” We also went on to ask Awsten if he agrees that the band’s sound has matured from their freshman release Entertainment to this, their sophomore release, Entertainment, with a laugh, he answered us with ”yeah, and the thing is, I didn’t realise it until this album was done!” although, Awsten said that he wouldn’t use the word ‘mature’ though. Chuckling, he also said that “We’ve grown up, not in like, an accountant way, but in a confidence way, you know?” In terms of the sound of the album, Awsten stated “I think this alum is also a lot more vulnerable and raw, then Double Dare.”
“I write a lot of songs like that, they just don’t usually see the light of day.” Is what Awsten had to say about the track TANTRUM which is one of the more aggressive tracks on Entertainment. “It was a really stressful time, and we were constantly touring. When you start doing okay, you kind of attract the wrong kind of people.” Awsten notes with a laugh, but still staying serious about the topic. “It was a really stressful time, and that’s kind of what it’s about. You kinda snap, and as the kids on the internet say, ‘I’ve snapped!” We also asked Awsten if he has a favourite track on the album, and to this interviewers surprise, he said no. “It’s impossible to answers, and without sounding egotistical, when it came down to choosing these ten songs for the album, these were the best of the best.”
Waterparks worked on their album with Good Charlotte’s Benji Maddern, and Courtney Ballard who worked on 5 Seconds Of Summer’s album, acting as producers, when I asked Awsten about this he had nothing but positives to say about the pair. “It’s been easy, like, it was a very comfortable recording process. Benji and Courtney did our first few releases.” Awsten also continued, saying that while they had offers from other producers to work on their album, ”we feel that Courtney and Benji get us and what we’re trying to do. Like, we know that they genuinely give a shit, and that’s really important.”
Next we asked Awsten some questions about being in a touring band, more specifically if he had a favourite part about touring. “We tour because, we want Waterparks to be the biggest thing. I love playing shows, but it’s 2018 and music can’t just be an audible thing, you know? Like, it’s about the visual as well.” In 2016 Waterparks played Warped Tour and Awsten and Otto played the last few shows as a twosome as Geoff broke his hand. Afterwards they were headed to the U.K for Reading & Leeds, and a support tour with Good Charlotte, and had none other than former My Chemical Romance bassist, Mikey Way, play with them and we asked Awsten about how that came about. “Mikey’s the best! We were hanging out a few days ago before we left (for Australia), yeah Mikey’s awesome.” The last thing any band wants is to cancel shows, Awsten elaborated and says “We’re not gonna cancel, we can’t, this tour is gonna be amazing and we have to do something to make this amazing.” To make it amazing, they sought out Mikey Way, who they already knew as he had recorded the bass on their EP, Cluster. “So were like, we’re friends with Mikey and he already knows pretty much all the songs we’re playing, so we hit Mikey up and it was pretty amazing.”
Waterparks are currently on tour in Australia, supporting fellow American rock band The Maine. On asking Awsten if he was enjoying Australia so far, a it’s the first time that Waterparks have made it to our shores, he said that “everyone is so pretty here, and it feels so good outside and the foods cool, I’m not mad about any of this!” As of the date this interview took place, January 31st, they were only one day into their supporting tour with The Maine, but we asked Awsten how he thought it was going so far. “We played Rare, one of our new songs for the first time last night, and Lucky People for the first time where people knew the words which was cool.” He also went on to say that he’s heard it’ll only get better from here.”For those that haven’t seen Waterparks live before, which will be the majority of their Australian audience, we asked Awsten what fans could expect from a live performance, he immediately laughed and provided us with the answer, “They can expect Otto to look really good when he’s sweaty!”
Awsten has quite the presence and following on Twitter, and we probed him on how important he thought that was, in terms of contributing to the bands success. “Yeah I mean, I’m just kinda have naturally that way. Like it always helps. Geoff doesn’t really do much on social media and Otto doesn’t even have any of it.” Another laugh from Awsten before he continued “I barely convinced him to get email so I could like, send stuff to him!”
2018 is looking busy for Waterparks with a lot of touring, and Awsten also says excitedly “we have an awesome music video coming out soon!” Finally, we asked Awsten if Australian audiences to could expect to see Waterparks on a headliner sometime soon, which was answered with an excited and astounding yes! “Japan and here (Australia) are our favourite places to play, outside of the U.S.”